Tales from the Haunted House
This page showcases stories and personal accounts of the members of A Company, 158th Assault Helicopter Battalion (Ghost Riders).
TO ALL GHOST RIDERS! Please, PLEASE send me your recollections so that they can be posted here and enjoyed by all viewers!
TALE #1 "A Very Special Christmas"
I will always remember all of you that spent "Christmas Day" 1969, flying turkey dinner out to the various firebases, and field locations. You know who you are! I was just a "newbie" and don't remember if it was "Pappy" or "Spider Man", or someone else who was my AC, but in any event, it was the longest flying day in my flying career. There were many more memorable missions later, but that day is special to me for the following reason:
During a trip home to Ireland around 1995, I happened to run into an old school buddy (another immigrant) who had retired back home in Ireland, and who like me, had been in the "American Army" in Vietnam. As old soldiers sometimes do, we were telling lies (war stories) about what we did and where we had been when he proceeded to tell the group we were out dining with about the best damn meal he had ever had in his life.
It seems that he was in Signal and spent some time on a very remote "radio Relay Site" somewhere in the Central Highlands. This mission ran for 2 weeks at a time and you lived on "C" rats while you were out there. They had been told nothing about "Christmas"etc.and were not expecting anything, when out of (as he described it) "the pissing rain and fog" just before dark a "Huey" shows up and unloads a cook and about a dozen "Mermite Cans" with turkey with all the trimmings, hot coffee, plus a "sundries pack". According to this gentleman... he had traveled the world since then and eaten in some ofthe best and worse places known to man, but without a doubt the best meal he ever had was on top of that mountain in Vietnam.
That Christmas, "Santa Claus" for him (and a lot of others I would imagine) wore a "grungy green" nomex flight suit, SPH4 helmet and drove a UH1H. I felt proud to have been that Santa Claus, and so should all of the rest of you. Bill "Irish" Glennon
TALE # 2 "WISH I WASN'T THERE - AND DENY THAT I EVER WAS!"
(This radio transcript is of transmissions from "CHALLENGER 6" to US Air Force authorities near Quang Tri.) USAF: Please divert your course 15 degrees to South to avoid a collision. CHALLENGER 6: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to North to avoid a collision. USAF: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision. CHALLENGER 6: This is CHALLENGER 6, the Air Mission Commander of a large helicopter attack force. I say again, divert YOUR course. USAF: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course. CHALLENGER 6: This is CHALLENGER 6. I am the Air Mission Commander for the largest combined airmobile task force ever assembled. I have over 100 troop-carrying helicopters, escorted by close to 60 fully armed attack gunships, followed by the largest concentration ever assembled during this war of heavy lift helicopters carrying a battalion of artillery, ammunition and supplies following close behind us. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH! I SAY AGAIN, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR I WILL BE FORCED TO DEPLOY MY GUNSHIPS TO FORCE YOU TO DIVERT IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS TASK FORCE. USAF: This is the control tower at Quang Tri. Your call, Commander!
TALE #3 - A NEWS FLASH!!!
|The Pentagon recently found
it had too many pilots and offered an early retirement
They promised any pilot who retired
straight away his full annual benefits plus $10,000 for
every inch measured in a straight line between any two
points on the pilot's body, with the pilot getting to
select any pair of points he wished.
|Meanwhile, the first pilot
had tipped off a third.
third pilot was asked where to measure, he told the
TALE #4 - An
Appreciation from a Grunt
My name is John Moran, I was with HHC 2/506 on Ripcord. I rode off Ripcord with a GHOSTRIDER who had big pink ribbons tied to the machine gun mounts. Later in the afternoon we were at the 2/506 Headquarters area around Snoopy, when I saw them again at the fueling depot, just the other side of the big landing area. I drove over with some beer and thanked them again. I was wondering who the crew was and what happened to them?
...I was with Alpha Co. 2/506 Aug 69 my first night at Evans with the Co. There were several new guys with me. We were with Lt Steve Wallace, all sitting around getting help from the guys who had been in country for a while. It was question and answer time, we were leaving in the morning. I asked, do the choppers always come and get you? Someone answered, "Yes". I asked again, no matter what? There was general laughing because they saw I was concerned. The same guy answered, "No matter what, they always come and get us out". Then a guy in the back, his nickname was Casper, shouted, "And if your really, really in serious trouble and it's lookin bad the GHOSTRIDERS will come and get you, those guys got big balls. Otherwise you won't see them".
So for almost a year I never saw a GHOSTRIDER, until I was running out of the TOC at Ripcord on 23Jul70. I was last in line as I crossed those few feet to the chopper I noticed several things in a split second. The door gunners had big pink ribbons tied to the guns stanchions, all the doors seemed to be gone, the pilot was watching me and right behind his head, painted on the chopper was a horse rearing up and the grim reaper holding a scythe. Six guys boarded that chopper in 1 second, the helicopter went hard to port and we were off the top of Ripcord and picking up speed as we went down the side and over the trees. None of that mattered, we were safe, I was riding with a GHOSTRIDER, finally, ,it was then that I realized that we must be in really, really in serious trouble and it's lookin bad. We landed away from the main pad at 2/506, I think because we took a hit. So almost 34 years later that's how I remember it. I hope they made it OK. There just aren't enough words to describe how brave the helicopter pilots and crews are.
Thanks again John Moran
TALE #5 - An
Appreciation from another Grunt
My drill sergeant was a former Marine grunt radioman in Vietnam and he told me this story...
They were under heavy enemy fire at an LZ waiting for extraction. He said there were two Marine hueys overhead circling out of range waiting for permission to go in, which was continually denied, and their casualties were mounting. The platoon leader kept calling for the ships to come in but their "6" kept denying it because it was too hot. He said all of a sudden he heard some kid's voice with callsign Ghostrider tell them to get ready he was coming in, and in a flash he saw an Army 101st huey come in basically at treetop level, plop down, load up and start extracting under fire. He said he remembered seeing what looked like 19 yr old "wobbly one" at the controls. He decided then and there that the Marines were wusses and the Army aviatiors had the biggest cojones in the world, especially this Ghostrider. Years later I learned that my uncle's unit was called the Ghostriders.
John Wayne Mink
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